Coast Guard rescues five fishermen from sinking boat

The Coast Guard on Friday rescued five fishermen from the 56-foot commercial fishing vessel Taplow, which began taking on water 19 miles southwest of Grays Harbor.

The men safely boarded a Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor 52-foot motor life boat and were transported by the crew to Grays Harbor, a Coast Guard news release said.

The Taplow is believed to have sunk in more than 300 feet of water with a potential of several hundred gallons of diesel onboard.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders received the distress call from the captain of the Taplow stating that they were taking on water, their engine room was half flooded and their pumps had stopped working. The watchstanders directed the crew to activate their Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon and don immersion suits. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued and the MLB as well as a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River were directed to launch.

An additional Sector Columbia River helicopter crew, who had landed at Grays Harbor for a personnel transfer, also responded to the vessel in distress.

The helicopter crew that was at Grays Harbor was the first to arrive on scene with the Taplow, delivered a pump and remained on scene until they were relieved by the second helicopter crew.

A rescue swimmer was then deployed to assist with the dewatering efforts and await the arrival of the Grays Harbor MLB crew.

When on scene, the MLB crew noticed the fishing vessel listing to starboard. With dewatering efforts failing, the MLB crew advised the fishermen to abandon ship.

“This crew did everything they could to save their ship and were well prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Chief Michael Guerrero, command duty officer, Sector Columbia River. “This kind of preparation saves lives and in this case expedited the rescue of these fishermen.”

No pollution has been reported at this time.